Late winter/Early Spring can be one of the most challenging times of the year for us Anglers in the BC Southern Interior because it is between fishing seasons. The ice is getting too thin to go Ice Fishing and it is still too cold to pull out the fishing boats. So where is the good fishing from mid-February to mid-April? The BC Fishn Team is not about keeping secrets of fishing hotspots. So here is a secret that numerous local Lumby/Vernon area Anglers don’t like to share; its shoreline fishing Mabel Lake.
Each year in late winter and early spring the big Rainbow Trout in Mabel Lake start to cruise the drops off and shorelines of the lake aggressively feeding. These fish range from 2lbs and can reach over 12lbs! You do not require a boat to target these fish, but rather a comfy camping chair, layers of warm clothes and the right fishing setup.
Where to Fish: Mabel Lake is a BIG lake and offers numerous points for shoreline fishing. We have tried only a few areas from shore but enough to know where the hotspot is. From Lumby travel north to Mabel Lake until you reach the Mabel Lake camping/picnic area on your left, just a couple kms from where the road turns to gravel. This area offers picnic tables, washrooms and a boat launch. There is a large sandy beach near the day use area and a distinct point on the beach, this is the hotspot. Cast approx. 30 to 50 feet out from shore. You will see a drop off in the water; this is the area you want to target. (15 to 20 feet of water).
Gear and Bait: For this type of fishing you need at least 8lbs Fluorocarbon main and 6 to 8lbs monofilament leader.
The setup is easy and very affordable. From your main line tie a 3 way swivel. On the bottom of the swivel attach an approx. 1/2 to 1 ounce weight. Then run a 3 to 5 foot leader from the other side of the swivel. On this leader add a GREEN, PINK, RED or ORANGE Corky then tie a hook at the tag end of the leader. The Corky acts as a float that will float your hook and bait up off the bottom of the lake. The bigger the hook & bait; the bigger the corky needs to be. The bait can be as simple as a night crawler worm, shrimp or your marinated secret bait of choice. If you don’t get any bites after a while of fishing adjust your leader length shorter or longer. What we usually do if we are fishing in a group is set up each line with a different length of leader to narrow down a pattern and depth of where the fish are. Casting large spoons from the shore can work well too, but remember the trout are cruising looking for food. If you are casting lures you may miss out on an opportunity when they cruise by.
Cast your setup out and tighten any slack on the line, keep the line tight enough that your rod tip is bent very slightly. This way if a fish hits you will see the action on your rod tip. A rod holder is handy if you do not want to hold your rod. Some guys use a ‘Y’ shaped stick stuck in the beach and lean their rod against it.
So if you are experiencing those between fishing season blues that most of us Anglers experience in March/April go for a drive to Mabel Lake and try your luck with some shoreline fishing. Don’t forget to send us your pics or post them on the BC FISHN Facebook page. If you have any questions please feel free to contact us!